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Pioneer and Onkyo update adds extra Dolby Atmos and IMAX features to AV receivers

Onkyo TX-RZ840 AV receiver gets virtual Dolby Atmos
(Image credit: Onkyo)

Owners of certain Onkyo and Pioneer home cinema receivers can now get 'virtual' Dolby Atmos surround sound without the need for additional height speakers in their set-up. A firmware update brings Dolby Atmos 'height virtualizer' functionality to selected products.

This has the effect of creating a virtual height and surround effect from traditional speaker layouts. The companies claim owners can "enjoy Dolby Atmos without height or Atmos-enabled speakers in systems with more than two channels".

The same update also adds IMAX Enhanced functionality. This enables users to enjoy the full dynamic range of IMAX sound in the home and enhanced 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range) images when the receiver is connected to a suitable TV.

IMAX Enhanced versions of films are due for 4K HDR streaming and Ultra HD Blu-ray release. 

Pioneer VSX-LX504 AV receiver gets virtual Dolby Atmos

(Image credit: Pioneer)

Models that can accept the firmware update are as follows: Pioneer VSX-LX504, Pioneer VSX-L304, Onkyo TX-RZ840 and Onkyo TX-RZ740. 

The update can be downloaded and installed directly on network-connected models, or downloaded to a USB stick from the Pioneer or Onkyo websites and installed via the receiver's USB input.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.